Cititec: Women in Technology
Becky Wilson, Editorial Assistant
On Thursday 21st January, Cititec hosted a Women in Tech event in their Shoreditch Roundabout venue. The event was organised by Kaitlin Dunning, digital marketing manager at Cititec.
The event was opened by Cititec’s managing director, Stephen Grant, who spoke about the company and its values. The company has been qualified for the Quality Assured Equality Diversity and Inclusion accreditation for the past nine years and aims to make a statement to clients and employees that it is at ease with its diversity.
There were four speakers at the event, Emma Mulqueeny, CEO of Elbi and founder of Young Rewired State and Rewired State; Antonia Heslop, designer at Buzzfeed; Alexa Glick, global diversity manager at Microsoft, and Codess community manager and Paula Walter, CTO at Newton Investment Management. Each of the speakers focused their talk, in some way, around women in technology.
Mulqueeny’s presentation was called The Queen and a Supermodel. It focussed on the woman who had the biggest impact on her life last year; the Queen, and a social enterprise app, which was co-founded by Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova.
According to Mulqueeny, the Queen has hosted events at Buckingham Palace for parents of children who enjoy programming. The events are meant to reassure parents that the skills their children have are not worrying, and instead are quite useful skills to have for their future education and careers.
The social enterprise app, Elbi, uses digital technology for philanthropy. The app’s tagline is “Little actions. Big difference.” The app, which was launched in November 2015, enables people to make little actions that go a long way. Users of the app are able to do small charitable acts in minutes using their mobile phone.
The second speaker, Heslop, focused her presentation on her career at Buzzfeed. Heslop has designed her own game, named Rush Hour, which she is hoping to fully create at some point. The game is designed to replicate the tube, where users would need to navigate from one location to another. There are also mini games included within this game.
Heslop believes that storytelling is key when it comes to designing. She spoke about the culture at Buzzfeed, which is centred around diversity. The company is run by two women, with more women than men working for them. Currently, 52% of the managers at Buzzfeed are women.
Glick’s presentation was titled, Why diversity matters to Microsoft. She spoke about Emma Watson, who addressed the UN last year on her HeForShe campaign, being a goodwill ambassador for gender equality. She then moved on to talk about Codess, a community for female coders that was set up by Microsoft.
According to Glick, diversity is important to Microsoft because it evolves the company’s workforce, enables greater innovation and creates a broader reach with a more diverse group of people working for the company. Microsoft has 40 employee networks and seven global employee resource groups. Moving forward, Glick says that Microsoft has three focuses: its people, who will create the future generation of role models; its culture, with benefits such as flexible working coming in to play, and its customers, such as its programmes to give disabled students the opportunity to learn more about technology.
The final speaker of the evening, Walter, told the audience about her career in technology. When she started working in technology, she was part of a male dominated industry, where she found she had to be loud and confident to succeed.
She explained the importance, particularly at interviews, of emphasising the skills you do have, rather than highlighting what you can’t do. She believes that everyone has, what she called a “burden” in their life, whether this is something around their gender, ethnicity, cultural background, health or family. In this sense, everyone is equal and it’s about finding a way to get everyone to contribute.
If you would like the opportunity to collaborate with Cititec, please contact Kaitlin Dunning on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cititec.com